Nerd fucking


Description: A young versatile university PhD professor is tired of being the object of derision as the pocket protector guy. When offered an opportunity to join a unique company, he takes a chance and enjoys the transition.

Caution, there will be some areas of intense sex. Just skip over those that are offensive.

Once upon a time there was a really nice guy named Feeny, Salvatore Markus Feeny. About five-nine or ten, maybe a hundred sixty pounds, red hair that went wherever it wanted. Earlier in his life, glasses that were thick enough to withstand re-entry, always a pocket protector filled with a pen, a Sharpie, a retractable pencil, an ink eraser, and a daunting piece of equipment called a slide rule. Since it was tiny, you had to know where the gradations were to use it correctly. Feeny knew where the gradations were.

Students would come into the lecture hall, and as soon as they saw Feeny, they pinned him as a "Nerd". They were probably close, but Feeny was not merely a nerd. He was a self-made PhD who could dissect any computer on the market, including a Cray, and any other form of super computer that needed to turn out an answer that could only be calculated. Some answers could be had by the use of physical tools, but that would have been astronomically expensive.

Feeny looked upon computers as dumb animals that needed to be trained. Training consisted of first combining the best breeding, or components, then the correct operating system. To give the animal some finesse, Feeny would create the appropriate software to run whatever program and file needed attention. Feeny loved programming, and he likened it to taming the wildest of animals. The idea that he could teach the box full of electronic components to give him answers was amazing to him. Even though he had been making computers do that for more than fifteen years, he was still surprised to get an answer that corresponded to his slide rule. At twenty-nine, Feeny was one of the best in academia. Programmers knew his work the world over. When they were stuck, they e-mailed their file to Feeny, and often within minutes, the sender would receive a simple file with the explanation. Another training problem solved.

Feeny's office was a visual diversity compared to most of his fellow academic's offices. His desk was filled with monitors, six to be exact. The front of his desk looked like a data room, except the stacks of computers were somewhat in disarray. If you know computers, then you know there are wires everywhere that most would never figure out what they were for, or what they went to. Feeny knew.

On one wall was a jumbled, framed group of certificates and diplomas. Along with those, were awards from some of the most august bodies of recognition, including "Nobel". Feeny liked the other wall better, the wall behind his desk, as it had pictures of his youth when he was not Dr. Feeny. They included Feeny riding a bronc. Feeny riding a bull. Feeny roping a calf, Feeny doing horseback riding tricks, Feeny cracking a whip, and finally Feeny in a six-gun contest. If you looked at Feeny then turned to look at the photos, the only thing that could come to mind is "No way".

In the top center of the wall was a large, coiled, sinister looking, bullwhip. Next to it was a coiled lariat, and next to that a pigging string, you know, the rope you use to tie up the legs of a calf after you roped it.

On top of that was a beat up hat. Not just any hat, but a genuine Stetson. When life became too much for Feeny, he would don the Stetson and sit back, close his eyes, and visualize the activities of his youth.

Feeny had learned about computers when he was really young. He had begged for a Zenith/Heathkit computer kit that was advertised as a closeout for five dollars. He put that together, but the kit required a terminal to work. Feeny's dad found an old teletype machine that Feeny could enter basic code into and the machine would respond with various outputs. Feeny was rapidly growing in knowledge, and read enough information that he was able to hook up to an old black and white TV, which could then display his input and output.

Feeny's dad was a good guy and always kept his ears open for something for his kids. A man had a Zenith computer kit that was too complicated for him to put together, and he was willing to let it go for nearly nothing. It took Feeny three evenings to have this real computer, with real storage devices and a built in monitor, working. There was also a thick book about programming in Basic.

He became a self-taught programmer in Basic at age nine. Between his magazines and the library, he was gaining knowledge by the bushel and truck load. He learned that if he used machine language, he could have a much larger program that would do a lot more than just scroll some words across the screen. He learned to make his computer add, subtract, multiply, and divide. When he taught his computer to compute the square root of a number, Feeny strutted around worse than a bull that had just serviced a heifer. Feeny showed his dad a program that he created to compute all of the costs of the farm, in each of the profit center categories, and give profits and losses with a percentage, highlighting areas that more money than usual was spent.

You see, Feeny was special. His mother knew it and tried to shield the boy from some of the people who would deride and make fun of him. His dad knew it and trained Feeny to become more than he looked. He made sure his son could whip just about any other boy who was not more than twice his size. Wherever he went to school, after the first bully had to crawl away, bullies didn't bother Feeny.

He needed that, as when Feeny was thirteen, he graduated from high school. He was almost embarrassed at this achievement. Fenny had won scholarships to many universities, but chose the nearby Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, so he could continue to live at home to pursue his other youthful western interests and help out on the ranch. A father and mother couldn't have been more proud.

Feeny rocketed through undergraduate work and surprised his graduate professors with his knowledge, learning ability, and proficiency. Who would have believed this kid would have multiple articles published by the time he was seventeen, and when he went before a board of scholars to defend his thesis for his orals candidacy exam, he couldn't be stumped or rather, he bowled them over with his knowledge. By the time Feeny was eighteen, his mother and father sat in the bleachers of a huge stadium and applauded their son as he received a Doctorate of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The amazing thing was that when it was over; Feeny went home and did his part of the evening chores.

That night, his dad asked him what he wanted to do. Feeny told his dad he wanted to teach others how to use the biggest and best computers. The young man told his dad that if he was in a university, he could be using the most modern equipment and could continue to research his ideas in software.

That was a problem. The school had never hired an eighteen-year-old to be a professor at any level. Even graduate students, acting as grad staff student teachers who were not being paid for their efforts, were older than eighteen and of course, thought to be more mature. The department head wanted Feeny, but many who were jealous of his abilities were against a youth preparing students for the world.

Feeny did get the position, but there were strings. First, he had to teach the lowly entry level classes. Second, he had to gain valuable commercial experience that would give him the ability to correlate what he taught to the real world.

It took Feeny three interviews before an IT guy challenged him to find a software glitch. Within a couple of minutes, Feeny had not only found the bad line of code, but had re-written that area of the program to make it work the way the interviewing company wanted the program to work.

The company hired him with the understanding he would not be available during his classes, but agreed to pay him a full time salary. Once again Feeny was able to best the university spoilers.

Feeny was able to provide the work experience and an acclaimed teaching experience before being promoted to the abandoned position of head of the Engineering School of Programming. This kid was just nineteen and a Dean at the University.

Ten years later, after taking the derision of students, and many of his staff and counterparts or peers, Feeny yearned for a simpler life. He loved what he did, but didn't want the simple-mindedness of the assholes that roamed the halls of the University. He had changed his appearance by having Lasik surgery on his eyes. Now he was able to see with clear twenty-twenty vision, and often wore cool Ray Ban sunglasses, but he still had a pocket protector in his short sleeve shirt pocket with a clip on tie.

That's when one of his past students contacted him: a guy by the name of Sandy Flowers, or as he remembered the student's name, Santana Flowers.

Sandy had been a decent student and suffered with some of the same pocket protector problems Feeny did. The unique thing about Sandy, as he progressed through his Masters, was that he was able to focus on a function and create the driver necessary, or create a program that would solve a specific problem. Feeny was sure Sandy would do well in a business in the outside world.

Flowers had called Feeny and asked him to come and visit the company he worked for. Sandy kept telling Feeny that the company was moving into some very sophisticated equipment that needed analysis by computers rather than models. Sandy was a little vague, but it still interested Feeny as he thought it could be a fun diversion to act as an occasional consultant down in Florida.

The date was set for Feeny to show up at the local airport where a private aircraft was going to transport him to Florida for an interview. Sandy had raved about the company and how great the people within the company were. Feeny's anticipation was heightened to the point that he didn't sleep well the night before. He was in the private aircraft terminal an hour early, pacing, and waiting for he knew not what.

He watched as a sleek jet gently set down on the runway, came to a quick stop, and turned toward the operations building for private aircraft. The man at the desk hailed Feeny on the public address system, and when he approached the desk, Feeny was told, "Go right on out, that's your ride."

Feeny hesitantly walked out to the beautiful aircraft. The closer he got, the more nervous he became. As he got closer, he saw several caricatures of people painted on the aircraft, along with some cartoons. Under the left side cockpit window was a cartoon with 'Deputy Dawg' scrolled underneath.

Primary Editing by Pepere
Proofing and Continuity by Sagacious
Helicopter and Legal Eagle Guru, Rotorhead

Knight6 is trying out
Last one through - Deenara2000



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Chapter 2

Meeting S&S - The Beginning

I was welcomed on board the aircraft by a very well dressed man in dress slacks and a sport coat who introduced himself as Chuck Johnson, the pilot. Standing next to him was a nice looking lady, equally well dressed, who was introduced as Lisa Johnson, the co-pilot. They escorted me into the aircraft where I was surprised to see my former student, Sandy Flowers. Next to Sandy was a lady who smiled beautifully, and who was also introduced as Sandy Flowers. I thought I had heard wrong, but let it ride.

On the other side of the aircraft was a huge man that looked out of place in a fancy aircraft, and equally out of place since he was also well dressed. Next to him was a really cute girl who smiled all the time, and was also as nicely dressed as everyone else on the plane. They were introduced as Donny and Gerry, key people with the company's R&D department.

As soon as everyone was belted in, the aircraft rocketed off the runway and headed toward Florida.

A little over two hours later, Chuck announced that we were in the landing pattern.

During the flight we all talked about university experiences and those things from our youth that we enjoyed. I was surprised when the huge man said he loved to ride horses, but had a tough time finding a horse big enough to carry his weight. The smiling Gerry, next to him, told of having been a two-time barrel racing champion at the state fair in Austin. I felt at home with these people.

I did find out that I had heard correctly when I entered the craft that my former student Santana Flowers, known as Sandy, was indeed married to a girl by the name of Sandra. The result was two Sandy Flowers. It would be months before I learned that Sandra's maiden name had also been Flowers.

Upon landing, a young guy who was almost, but not quite, a lab rat looking guy met everyone. He was introduced as Dennis and he announced he had a vehicle to take all of us back to the patio.

I thought to myself that was funny. What the hell is the patio?

When the vehicle stopped and we got out, I was surprised to find that it really was a huge screened-in patio in the midst of a trailer park. Dennis offered me iced tea or a soda and said that most anything I might want was available, but didn't offer me a beer at that time of the morning. I saw the tapper on the front of the refrigerator, and even witnessed a biker looking guy drawing a beer.

Dennis had ushered me to a table with several people sitting at it. It surprised me that the pilot and co-pilot of the aircraft that flew me here were there, as well.

Santana began, "First of all, Doc, you have to relax around these people. None of them will harm you and all of them want you to be the man they seek. I've already told them all about you and they have confirmed you are second to none within the framework of the type of computer person we need and want."

Santana made the introductions. There was Steve Sharp, the owner of the parent company, S&S. Next was his wife, Sue, a well endowed blonde who was a partner in the parent company and was also the head of Quality Wear clothing. The pilot was confirmed to be Chuck Johnson, an investing partner in many of the S&S companies, and Lisa Johnson, who was like Chuck's partner. Also present were Donny and Gerry, whom I already knew well from our conversations during the flight. A man named 'Wes' was introduced as their aeronautical engineer who designed and created all of the company's new aircraft. There was a man named 'Jeff', who was in charge of the fiberglass shop and also worked with Gerry developing some kind of composite materiel the company had created. The last person at the table was an older man named 'Abe', who was introduced as the head of rebuilding and an R&D contributor. Another lady came out of the large manufactured home the patio was attached to and sat on the other side of Steve. She was introduced as Mercy Sharp.

When the introductions were complete, I was all ears and asked, "What kind of computer do you want? What do you want it to do?"

Sandy said, "We need something powerful enough to give us all of the data necessary for a newly designed aircraft to pass its initial and subsequent wind tunnel evaluations. After that you, or rather the computer, would be expected to analyze all of the aircraft functions. You'll have to be in charge of buying the equipment, as well as designing and developing the software to do the work we want.

"You would be working with Wes here. Wes is some kind of aeronautical engineering genius who dreams new technologies for aircraft, and then does all he can to make the dreams come true."

"Your job is to help Wes make those dreams into reality. Your knowledge and equipment will prove Wes's designs as well as assisting him with them."

I exclaimed, "Holy smokes, Sandy, you don't want much, do you? Tell me more, though. Would I really get to select whatever equipment I want and would I really have full autonomy for the project?"

Everyone around the table was nodding yes to me. "Well," smiled Sandy, "for the computer side of the project, yes. But unless you're an aeronautical engineering genius too, Wes would be in charge of the design portion of the project."

Then there was a variety of questions that came from the others sitting around the table. It was apparent that all of them were no slouches when it came to business. They obviously knew more about computers than the average person, but were restricted by what was commercially available rather than what was possible for what they needed done. That is where I would come in.

While the friendly interrogation was going on, some sweet rolls had been set out on the table, and glasses of tea and cups of coffee were being refilled by various women who came and went from the main building that looked to be someone's home. I heard an occasional baby cry, so I knew there were women with infants inside.

The lady named Mercy Sharp didn't say anything, but sat watching and listening to me intently as if she were trying to read my mind.

After over an hour of questioning, Sandy Flowers asked, "Doctor Feeny, I have to ask you, what is your full name? The only thing I 've ever heard you called was Doc, Dr. Feeny, or just plain Feeny."

This brought a smile to my face, "My full name is Salvatore Markus Feeny. Before you ask," I stood up and stretched, "My mother is an Italian who married a northwest redheaded Texas cowboy while he was stationed in Italy. She named all of us kids using fancy Italian names and taught all of us to speak, read, and write in Italian so we could communicate with our relatives in Italy when we visited them or they came to Texas. At the same time, my mother learned to speak, read, and write as near perfect English as you can find. I was fascinated with Italian history, and my relatives were fascinated when they discovered that the Wild West was not as wild as they believed, but still wild enough to give almost anyone a thrill.

"I loved being a farmer, or rancher, as they are called in Texas, but I love the world of computers even more. I'm looking for a balance. I want to have some regular non-academic friends, and maybe go riding sometimes and just be a regular person. I'm looking for a company that can use my talents, but is down to earth, relaxed, and strives for perfection. I'm a little anal about that."

I didn't understand why almost all of the people at the table began laughing when I said that. My concerned expression caused Sue Sharp, she of the enormous chest, smile and say, "We're not laughing at you. Perfection is a way of life in our companies. Doing perfect work is our most important mission. We've learned that if we strive to make whatever we are working on perfect, we make more of a better product in less time. You'll see signs on the walls of our businesses that direct and encourage perfect work. Before anything comes from our companies, employees must take our products through a door with a sign above it that asks, "Is It Perfect"?"

I was able to take my eyes off her chest and look her in the eye while listening and hearing what she said. I was thinking to myself, "I have to see these signs for myself. These people do talk the talk. Did they walk the walk?"

There was a lot of activity at the other tables. I noticed ladies putting platters of sandwiches out, followed by bowls of soup. There had to be close to thirty place settings, but we were the only people sitting in the patio at that moment.

As soon as I thought that, electric and gas golf carts began arriving and parking in a long row just off the road. The tables were filling up fast, and women were putting more bowls and platters out on more tables.

Then the attack happened. More than two dozen kids were coming in the doors, getting hugs from the various women, and being sent to the restroom to wash their hands.

The pilot, who I remembered was Chuck, told me, "Let's move over to the table on this end and have lunch. If you don't claim your space around here, you'll miss your chance. Donny, here, will eat everything up, and you'll starve. Just ask Gerry."

There was an "Oh, you" from the smiling girl who sat with the Goliath. The soup was some kind of delicious homemade vegetable beef. The sandwiches were all a combination of ham and turkey. You could put a slice of cheese on it and doctor it up with whatever you wanted. They did have a pile of hot peppers in a bowl near us. Chuck and Mercy were scooping a lot of them up before I could fork one.

The lady with Chuck, the co-pilot introduced as 'Lisa' told me, "This is kind of 'serve yourself' around here. Coke or Mountain Dew is at the bar where the ice is. Coffee is from the big coffee maker, and if you want water, there are bottles in the refrigerator where the beer keg is."

Donny got up with his and Gerry's glasses and headed toward the bar. I followed and found a glass, put ice in it, and used the dispenser to put Coke into the glass. I saw they had Coke, Diet Coke, Mountain Dew, and Dr Pepper. I liked Dr Pepper, too; it's a Texas thing, especially the kind that used to come from that little town, Dublin, in central Texas, where the soda had been made with real cane sugar.

As we ate, Wes, who was next to me on my left, said, "We work on some stuff that requires a pretty stringent security clearance. Do you know of any reason you might have difficulty passing a clearance investigation?"

Hmmm, that's a strange question for a small company in Florida. I did see a lot of men wearing S&S uniform shirts with different logos on them. It was as if there were multiple S&S companies. That's when I remembered that the office where the airplane parked was labeled CS&S Air Charter. There was a big sign that said, "All Flight Students Sign In upon Arrival." There must be a lot going on out there too.

When we finished Steve Sharp said, "Doc, Salvatore, or however you want to be called, I'd like to give you a tour of the business park, which includes the R&D building, our main shop, and we'll also look in on some of the Quality Wear shops.

Instead of a little golf cart, we got into a long cart that held ten people. I sat in front with Steve, Chuck and his co-pilot sat in the second seat, Donny and Gerry sat in the third seat, Dennis and Sue sat in the fourth seat, and Wes and Sandy sat in the rear seat facing backward. Another cart with the rest of the people, followed behind.

As soon as we exited the trailer park's side entrance, we passed by what appeared to be a huge public park with baseball diamonds, football and soccer fields, some tennis courts, and lots of green grass and trees. As we went by that and turned to the left, away from the main road, where we came upon what appeared to an RV dealership on the left. The sign over the door, in average sized letters announced "S&S Motorhomes". Parked in front of the building were about a dozen huge motorhomes. Considering the economy, I'm surprised they had that type of inventory.

On the other side of the street was what was obviously a golf cart or utility cart store, but only had a simple S&S sign. There were probably fifty carts of various models under a covered awning in front of the store and more inside a showroom. This was Florida and people did use a lot of these. I, of course, knew there were golf cart communities all over the country. What surprised me was that the building was huge, making me think there was more to that business than just selling various carts.

The next building on the left was obviously a semi truck dealership. There were five big tractors, of four different manufacturers, sitting in front of the building. There was a Volvo, a Peterbilt, an International, and a Freightliner. The fifth tractor there was one of those weird looking, low wind resistance bodies that have been gaining popularity. The back of this building was huge to accommodate repair of the big trucks and also some motorhomes I saw being worked on.

The last two buildings on the left side of the street had another two of the funny looking low wind resistance tractors in front of it, and when I was able to see inside, I could see a body being lowered onto a chassis. Steve said, "Truck owners bring their tractors here and we remove the old metal body, rebuild the mechanical parts of the truck, and install a low wind resistance body for them with some nice accoutrements. We make the bodies to order for each customer. When we finish with a truck, it is beautiful and will save the owner/operator thousands of dollars a year in fuel. Of course, over every door around here, there is a sign asking "Is It Perfect?"

I liked the attitude and I was beginning to think S&S was a lot bigger than I had originally thought.

We drove behind the cart building and I was able to see inside, as the doors were open for fresh air with the mild weather. There was the answer. As far as I could see in the plant were assembly lines with various carts on them. They build carts here, as well as sell them.

We drove in front of a strip center that had various small businesses that were mostly machine shops. On the other side of the street, the first building we came to was the R&D center. The place was under construction and Dennis explained they were building on to accommodate more activity, and their now new computer department.

We did a quick tour inside, but didn't get too close to some of the items they were working on. I think this might have been one of their secure areas. Next was more construction expanding a building that said simply, "Education Center".

Steve told me this was where S&S had a training program for people in many trades. He said they trained carpenters, electricians, plumbers, air conditioning specialist, welders, sheet metal workers, and now machinists. The new addition was to expand the machinist training area. Back in the cart, Chuck pointed down a new road that went to a big building that was near completion. He said, "That is going to be one of the best machine shops in the country, and every man working there will be some form of disabled vet. We are training as many vets as possible right now, and for those who are qualified and willing to commit, we have a program to send men to the University for accounting, law, pharmacist, or lab technician courses. We are going to try to employ over two thousand disabled men and women. We will be giving back."

I was impressed. I had often thought the military would be a great learning place, but I somehow knew that I wouldn't have the opportunities to play with the computers I loved so much. Dad had been in the military for the last of the Viet Nam war, but didn't have any real combat experience. He had spent a great deal of his enlistment in Italy.

The Quality Wear plant was enormous. There were seven total buildings that all seemed to be busy. The parking lots were filled, but something strange was happening. A long string of kids from about three to five years old were holding hands as they were led across the street into a huge vacant park area. Sue spoke up, "Those are our workers' kids. We have facilities to take care of all preschoolers and to also handle the kids who get out of school before their parents get off work. It gets really crowded in there between about three and five. The busses bring them directly here, and we make sure we inventory every kid. It's quite a task."

We parked and walked through the main entrance, with Steve and Sue waving at the receptionist. As we passed a door that said, 'Nurse' Steve said, "If you think you might want to work with us, go in there and do your drug test real quick. That will be one less thing you'll have to do later."

I thought about it for only a second and went into the room. Chuck followed me and said, "You have to have company for these, and I thought you might be more comfortable with me rather than the nurse."

The procedure is painless and only takes a minute. Chuck had to explain to the lady that I was a probable future employee, and was getting this part of pre-hire out of the way. The nurse told me, "We choose various employee groups and do spot drug tests, so don't think we don't watch." I had to smile at that, as I'm sure eighty percent of the staff at the University I was trying to escape from, was using one form or another of recreational drug. You could walk down the hallways in the enclosed classroom areas and smell it as you went by a professor's office.

We toured a couple of sewing rooms. There were cute cartoons on the walls with caricatures of Steve and Sue along with many others. Over the door was the sign, "Is It Perfect?" They were walking the walk. From the huge plant, we drove around the big park area, out to the main road, then back toward the trailer park, past a good sized two building Holiday Inn Express. You could tell the rear building was new, with a pool and cabana between the buildings.

As we drove through the front security gates of the park, Steve told me, "We'll take an Expedition to the shop so you can see more of the company. I envision a research computer system contributing to several of our businesses. If we were to have that kind of engineering facility available, who knows what we could create?"

We drove a short distance to a group of buildings with a huge "S&S" sign in front. Across the street was another group of buildings that said Quality Wear on the front sign. That must be a really big company.

When we walked into the S&S showroom, there was a race car hanging from the ceiling. Also hanging were race car and drag bike frames. I knew what they were, as a friend I grew up with could beat almost anyone at the motorcycle dirt drags. In the showroom, were a very fancy motorcycle, a drag bike, a big generator, and several sheets of what looked like clear Lucite. I saw two of them had large bullets imbedded in the glass. I wondered what that was all about.

We walked past a blind receptionist who stood and cordially greeted us. Steve and Sue said something to her and we walked through two big double doors into what was obviously what Steve called his 'shop'. We walked to the right behind some welders working on race car frames, then behind an area that was cutting and bending sheet metal, also for racecars. I noticed the signs around that encouraged perfect work. Something else that I noticed was that all of the workers gave enthusiastic greetings to Steve and all of us as we passed.

We entered another very brightly lit area of work stations that were copies of each other, six engines up on stands, with two people at each stand working on an engine. People would go back and forth between benches with sophisticated measuring equipment, do something with a part then return to the engine. Steve said, "This is our motor shop, where we build perfect motors that are beating the competition." I was astounded at how clean the floor was considering they were working on motors.

On the far end of the shop were two biker looking guys working on a couple of motorcycles. Near them, a short redhead was using an airbrush to paint an intricate design on a set of motorcycle fuel tanks. This was a busy place.

We walked back across the busy floor, but this time in front of the workers we had walked behind. The next shop we entered was a mess. Each of the work stations were a mass of dirt, oil, grease, and pieces of broken metal. Steve explained, "We take equipment in that is broken or abandoned, and make it like new. If you were to have a broken compressor, generator, or a forklift, you would want us to rebuild it for you. If you were to come here at five fifteen today, the floor would look just as clean as if there has been no traffic. We make the place shine every night so it's a great place to come to work at in the morning.

The more I heard, the more I liked the way this man thought and acted. As we walked out of the one building, heading toward what looked like a huge hangar, two men that were introduced as 'Tiny' and 'Henry', joined us. Somehow, the tall heavyset guy had to be Tiny. On the way to the next building, I found out they were chief accountants for S&S and Quality Wear.

The first area we looked into was open. This had more repair stations with the same type of garbage strewn over beautiful white floors with the S&S insignia painted in the center. The difference was the size of these lifts. They were huge, designed to lift trailer-sized containers and take them from a ship and put them onto tractor trailer rails. These lifts were huge.

The next room was a paint area for the big lifts. Next were a series of shops that were doing various types of fiberglass. Two of the areas were working with a new form of composite material I had heard mentioned at the patio. It looked to be interesting. I wonder how long it would take to write the formula for that stuff?

When we walked out of that last shop, Henry said, "I should show him my Corvette and some of the cars we are restoring."

Steve frowned and said, "What would be more interesting would be Donny's steam engine out here on the spur. It looks like the lengthening of the spur is almost done. Your mini-siding and roundhouse looks close to being done too. So when is the engine getting here, Donny?"

The huge man was smiling, "Two weeks, if we get clearance from the railroad and the use of a donkey engine. I've put the deposit up for fuel and the run, so there won't be a holdup on that."

Son-of-a-gun, the big guy may really have a genuine steam locomotive.

We were walking back to the main shop building as Steve talked to me, "I'm not going to bore you with offices and such. I want to go back to the house and talk some business before we fly you home. Come on, we've lost Sue and some of the others. I'll go see if she is going to stay at her factory or come home with us."

Sue apparently was staying, so we loaded up into the Expedition and left for the house. On the way, Wes kept asking how much he could show me of his operation to give me an idea of the scope of what we were doing. Steve told him to be patient, as a lot would depend on our conversation.

At the patio, we got more iced tea, but I had to take a bathroom break. When I came out, Chuck and the co-pilot were standing by the table, holding babies. The baby Chuck was holding was sort of chocolate colored with nappy hair, so it made me wonder if there was another daycare center here.

They took the babies back to where ever they got them from and came back. Steve, Wes, Dennis, and Chuck, began real negotiations with me. They established what I made now and the benefits I received. Chuck looked at Steve and raised his eyebrows. Steve looked right at me, and offered, "To start, we will double your salary, and give you all of the benefits you are currently getting, and also make you a part of our 401K plan. That's worth some big money over time. Until you decide whether you want to stay in the park or not, we will put you up in a rental trailer, at our cost, until we jointly decide on something else. We do have condos and individual homes available. Lastly, we will pay to bring whatever you have here. In other words, we will pay your total moving expenses."

Dennis said, "Since it will sort of be a part of R&D, I get to ask the question." Dennis turned to me, "Do you want to come to work with us?"

After what I had seen and knew from Sandy and Wes, was there more? It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out this was a great opportunity. But there was a catch; "I haven't filled out an application or given you a resume. Shouldn't I do that before we get too far to make sure I'm who you want?"

Chuck was the one who answered, "Since our companies do some defense work, we have access to the Secret Service who does our security clearances. I think we know everything you've done since about age six. You and your family are well known where you grew up. You are well known and respected where you teach. If anything, you have as many that are jealous of your abilities and achievements, as there are those who just flat out respect you. I think we know you pretty well."

I looked at each of the people around the table and said, "I'll go to work for you, but I have two requests. My mom and dad are going to want to visit often. If you can help me get a place that is big enough to host them, or help me with quarters for them while they visit, I'm in."

Steve said, "No problem there. If you stay in the park, I'm sure that we'll find you a place big enough. And if your folks want, they can stay at our Holiday Inn over there."

"Your Holiday Inn? That's yours?" I was shocked.

"Yep, that's ours. Now what is your second request?" Steve was smiling.

I smiled back, "I would kill for some of what comes from that tapper. I saw some frosty mugs that would go perfectly with it."

Dennis rose and waved for me to follow. Dennis pulled two beers with perfect heads. He told me to wait a second. He took those two to Steve and Wes. He did it again, and took them to Donny and Gerry this time. He came back and pulled two more, handed me one, and we went back to the table. I asked, "Aren't you going to give one to Chuck and Lisa?"

While smiling, Chuck said, "We're going to fly you back. The rule is no booze before acting like Sky King."

I nodded understanding, but also knew how much I was enjoying a cold one and he had to sit there and watch.

I asked the group, "When do you want me to start?"

Donny fielded this one, "They want you this morning or yesterday, but we'll settle for next week or the week after. I spoke to your University president and we came to an agreement that if you wanted to come with us, she would let you out of your contract. We are assisting her by sending a friend of ours to help until they select your replacement. Who knows, they may decide to keep him. We have also commissioned the University to work on a project for us in their specialty, agriculture."

Now I was stunned. "You really have negotiated that much for me?"

Chuck was quick to tell me, "There are dozens of projects Steve has within his R&D operation, and I have a couple of ideas you can help me with. You'll laugh when I tell you, but if we create what I want, it will be a very valuable piece of software throughout a popular industry."

"We do have several other important projects your knowledge will help with," Steve said, as he waved expansively. "Our aeronautical research is on the cutting edge and is making some unique discoveries that need confirmation. You are the man that can do it. Want to do it with us? Want to do it perfect?"

"I'm in, I've already said it, and I'm saying it again. Let's get this show on the road."

Steve instructed Wes, "Run Feeny over to see Dorothy for his employee and security ID. Make sure she doesn't help him take another drug test. She should have his security clearance in her system."

Wes was almost giggling as we rode over toward the RV building again. Wes said, "You are about to meet a legend around here. This lady will do everything in the world to embarrass you, and will act like she'll get on her knees for you as soon as you walk in the door. She's all talk. I'd say she is all mouth, but that's what she wants you to believe. I know her and her husband, Jake, well. They are even funnier and more outrageous when they are together."

We went up the stairs to an office area on the second floor of the RV building. Inside a huge office sat an older, but very attractive, lady who was displaying not only cleavage, but most of her obviously enhanced breasts. A lady her age would have to have saggier breasts for the size she had.

Wes introduced me, "Dorothy, this is Salvatore Feeny. He goes by 'Feeny' most of the time."

Dorothy stood up and leaned over her monitors as she stuck her hand out. Her movement opened her blouse and I was treated to a very clear view of both breasts.

"How do you like 'em, Cowboy? Want to suck on one of my nice nipples? Wes, you lovely boy, how about you and Mr. Feeny give me a DP. I'm due for some really rangy sex."

I was turning red, and I'm sure that is what she wanted, as she remained bent over her monitors.

"Cool your juicy snatch, Dorothy," Wes said, attempting to control the company ID clerk. "Feeny just needs an ID with the appropriate security clearances. He doesn't need any of Jake's reserved pussy today."

Dorothy almost looked dejected as she sat down and began typing on her computer. She looked up at me over the top of her glasses, and offered, "Then how about a blowjob? I'm dying for some young cum."

That hit a funny bone for both Wes and I. We began laughing at how seriously Dorothy had made her suggestive offer. She thought it was funny too, since she was laughing with us.

She said, "OK, let's get this over with. Unzip and pull it out, so I can get a picture of it. That's how we'll know it's you and not an imposter. Come on, whip out the Texas treasure."

"Jesus, Dorothy, don't you ever give up?" Wes was shaking his head in wonder at the lady. "When we leave, you better button up or some guy is going to take something you don't really want to give."

"I wish," Dorothy said, as she spun around to pull two laminated cards from a machine. Both had my picture that had obviously been taken while I was standing in the office. At least, I was smiling. Who couldn't with Dorothy's antics? "One is for this lanyard. You wear this if you're out at a test site. The other is your ID that has coding to get you into nearly everything at S&S, except my delicious snatch. Now get out of here so I can use my fingers to help me out, since you won't."

Wes and I left with a wave and grin that was returned. She was buttoning her blouse as we closed the door.

"She was in good form today. She loves to shock new guys, especially younger ones like you. If you get to meet a guy named Mark, he'll tell you how she was almost fondling him before Steve could rescue him."

Back at the patio, Sue, Steve's wife said, "You're still blushing. Dorothy must be in a rare mood today."

Wes told everyone, "Now that she's had the boob job, she loves to show them off while she's propositioning guys. I'm surprised we haven't had some kind of reverse discrimination charge around here. She can really be bad."

"She senses who she can torment," Steve was telling us. "I've taken guys in and she goes through the procedure one, two, three, and prints the card. Not a single suggestive word. Maybe it's what she and Jake get up to in the morning."

Wes asked me, "To get back to the main subject, how long will it take you to pack up? We can have it hauled, or if there isn't a lot, we'll load it onto an airplane and bring it. We'll have your car shipped here."

I had to think about that a moment, "Most of my personal stuff is still at home, you know, the home I grew up in. I use my apartment only a couple of times a week. I prefer to go home and help with the chores. I'm going to miss that."

Chuck was smiling at me, as he said, "Maybe we should build the computer system on the island R&D center so he can work with the cattle down there. They have horses to work the stock, but it sure wouldn't be the open plains of the Texas panhandle."

"No way," simultaneously exclaimed Wes, Sandy, and Dennis. Sandy finished, "We need you right here, Doc, where we can learn from you as you create your software."

"I can be ready to move from my apartment in a day, but I'll need another day to sort out what I want to bring from home. All of it will fit in the back of my pickup, so I can pack up and drive here. It's only a two or three day drive. Today's Friday, so I can be here ready to begin by next Thursday or Friday."

The faces of Sandy, Wes, and Dennis told me they wanted me here working tomorrow, but this was a big move. I had to clear the University and that could take a day. "You know it might take an additional day to clear the University. Hopefully, it won't be a hassle. Let's say that as a tentative date, I'll begin a week from this coming Monday."

Steve spoke up before one of the overeager guys could say anything, "That sounds perfect, Doc. I think that's what everyone is going to be calling you. Feeny sounds kind of impersonal."

"Feeny is fine, Steve. It's what I have been called since grade school. And I really like it better than 'Sally', which is what some kids tried to call me." I really like that man.

Dennis asked me, "Could you give us an idea of the equipment you want so we could order it? It's possible that some of what you'll be wanting will have to be special ordered."

I looked around at the eager faces and told them, "How about I put together a list for both top and low end systems that should be able to do what you want. You guys can price them up and see what you want to do. I'll include my dream list so you'll know what the ultimate would be. I'll leave the purchasing up to you. You know I have been working within the confines of a University budget for ten years, so your interest in providing the best is exciting, but maybe unnecessary."

It was Chuck who spoke up next, "Unless you want to stay for supper, let's get you back to Lubbock so you can tell your family what you're going to do. We'll be looking forward to having you with us full time. I have to tell you something really important. You won't need a kitchen wherever you live around here. We get together for breakfast, and as you saw, lunch. I'm going to be a little late for supper, but they will save some for Lisa and me. Let's get out of here."

There was a lot of handshaking, but it became apparent, Sandy, Wes, Dennis, Donny, and Gerry were going with me. These folks were not only eager, they were friendly. I think I'm going to enjoy being around them.

At the airpark, Wes insisted we take a look at his hangars. We walked through his light sport aircraft building hangar. There were six men putting together some nice looking aircraft. The next had a normal looking twin engine aircraft and a crazy looking one. Wes said, "We've sold the rights to the pusher over there, but I've kept this one for future modifications we might want to do. This other twin will be ours. It's going to be a plain Jane conventional twin turboprop that you are going to help make fast.

"Now close your eyes, because the next thing you'll see is special."

I didn't close my eyes as I was led from one hangar, through a passageway where there were offices, into another hangar. Sitting as if on display, was a very large, sleek looking, aircraft. It sort of looked like a fighter or fighter bomber, but I'm not into military aircraft that much. Wes was almost salivating as he said, "This is a special design with an even more special composite body. If you and I can do our job, this is going to be the next aircraft all of the services are going to use."

I looked over at what appeared to be a helicopter under construction, "I like helicopters. We have a guy that comes to help us during roundups. He can spot cattle from the air that we would never see on the ground. Are you building that for the military too?"

Wes smiled as he said, "That is a project that I have a lot to learn before I can do it right. Your new machine might help, but I'm just not the most knowledgeable about helicopters. We'll probably try to find another engineer who loves those things and let him take it from here."

We walked back through some other hangars that had one of those huge helicopters that picked up trucks and tanks, and a hangar that had three 737s in it. I couldn't tell whether all of these aircraft were theirs or whether they were just letting me see some neat aircraft up close.

A ground crew man was by the aircraft we flew here, and told Chuck everything was ready and that he had gone over it himself. Chuck said, "Thanks, Jimmy, we'll be back in about five hours. Tell your night guys to expect us."

We took off, and as soon as we were off the ground, Dennis was making coffee and handing out bottles of beer. He told me, "If you want something harder to drink, we have that too." Dennis moved me to a seat toward the front of the cabin, and then he swung a desk out to me, followed by a monitor on an arm that placed it in front of the desk. A keyboard and mouse were under the desk. The PC booted and Dennis asked me if I wanted to put this in a doc, pdf, or Excel file.

I used the mouse to bring up an Excel file and began with my wish list. I copied some of that to the better system list, and fewer items from the two lists to the economy list. As I typed in each item, I referenced a manufacturer that would sell the product. I even had telephone numbers and a representative's name for each of the companies burned into my memory.

The three lists were complete in just over an hour. I asked Dennis, "I've saved this file. What do you want to do with it?"

Dennis pulled out a 3X5 card and said, "Send an e-mail to each of these people with your Excel file attached. That way we can all follow-up on getting the order started. That you put rep names and telephone numbers in is going to make this easy. Do you want a couple of regular PCs for everyday use? Do they need any special enhancements? All of our current personal R&D PCs have three monitors, as well as a projection monitor to see something on a large screen like your wall or ceiling. All of us have the max RAM available, and the fastest video cards we can find. Do you need more than one PC?"

I told Dennis I might need a second one; I'd see the next week, but asked, "What kind of data security do you have?"

"We currently use a hardware and software firewall, but they are only on our second PCs. We'll get you one too, so you can use the internet and have a link to the company's external network. Our internal PCs are only used on our internal system, and there are no links to the company's general network. We have a private network between R&D and Wes' project hangar. There is no way for anyone to get into it. We lease a private fiber link that is not monitored outside of the company. We have a data security company review our setup and procedures six times a year. You can help us with that too."

As we were getting ready to land, Dennis handed me an iPhone and iPad. "If you think of anything additional, send it to me either on the phone or you can e-mail it from the pad. The contacts on the phone and pad include everyone you've met, and several more that you will meet. Steve is pretty good about getting us the best equipment he can for us to do our job. He says if he gives us perfect stuff, we'll do perfect work. I wish I could do that on every project. On so many projects 'perfect' is just not possible yet. You're going to help by telling us whether something is possible, or tell us how to make it possible."

I told him and the others, "I sure hope I can give you all what you're expecting. I'm sure going to try."

As I got out of the aircraft and shook everyone's hand, I couldn't help but feel as if being a nerd had its benefits and advantages.

Primary Editing by Pepere
Proofing and Continuity by Sagacious
Helicopter and Legal Eagle Guru, Rotorhead

Knight6 is trying out
Last one through - Deenara2000



-------

Chapter 3



I had just returned from flying to Florida to interview with a company by the name of S&S and in some cases CS&S and Quality Wear. I had accepted a job offer to put together and create software for an engineering computer they wanted to be second to none. The prospect of where I would be in a week was exciting, yet scary.

As I drove to my apartment, I made a mental note of what I needed to do. First was to call home.

Dad answered, "Hi, Son. How did your interview go? Do you think the company you talked to is worthwhile?"

"Dad, I have to tell you. They are, or at least appear to be, my ideal match. The owner, or at least one of the owners, is as anal as I am, if not more so, about doing everything exact. He has signs over his factory doors that ask, "Is it Perfect?" That's a hoot, isn't it?"

"Sounds like something you would like, Sal. Did you introduce yourself as Sal, or your usual Feeny?"

"Dad, you know I always forget. The guy that was one of my students even stopped the conversation to find out what my real name was. But that guy is so into calling me Doc, he'll never use Sal. I don't mind Feeny; it is my name you know. I'm always proud when someone calls or addresses me as Feeny. That's our name, I'm proud of it."

My mom's voice came over the phone, "You're always such a strange kid, Sal. I love you for it, though. I really do hope these Florida people will consider you."

"Mom, Dad, I have news. I'm cleaning out my apartment tonight. I'll be out to eat something and to help with chores in the morning. I'm on my way to Florida. They are going to have a place for me there when I get out of my truck. They wanted to fly me and my stuff and ship my truck, but I'm driving so I know that I'm moving on. So is it going to be all right to raid the fridge about eight?"

I could hear the smile in my wonderful mom's voice as she responded, "Of course, Sal. I'll make sure there are some good leftovers in there just for you. Do what you have to do at your place and come home. We want to see as much of you as possible before you leave."

"I didn't get to tell you yet, but they are going to have a place big enough for you two to stay with me as often as you want to visit. I'll bet they have flights that go past Lubbock often so you could catch a ride with them. These people are really special, you'll love them."

Dad was chuckling, "Sounds like they did one hell of sales job on you, Sal. Sure hope it's everything they say it is."

"Me too, Dad. I'm getting away from the simple-minded or closed-minded people that only want me to be in their clique. I never was a part of that, and never wanted to be. I've already met more people that know my real name down there in Tampa, than all of those that know me up here. Everyone was introducing me to the next person as 'This is Feeny, or Dr. Feeny, or just plain Doc. His real name is Salvatore Markus Feeny, but he doesn't care what you call him as long as you remind him when happy hour is.' Now that's the way to be introduced Dad. You're going to love these people. There are a couple of other eggheads that I'll be working with but they are cool eggheads. The head of R&D drives a wild looking Chevy El Camino. When you see it you won't believe it. Another guy, a new PhD from Arkansas, drives a really beat up pickup and I'm told he owns a real railroad steam locomotive. He's bringing it to Tampa. You should see this guy, Dad. He's probably six eight to six ten and must weigh over four hundred, but he doesn't look fat, only huge and solid. You'll like him."

Mom was always thinking of my future, "Do they have a lot of nice looking single girls there? Who knows? You might find some that appeal to you and get tripped or something."

"Oh, Mom, don't hold your breath. I'm a geek, a happy and contented nerd. Something will come along and when it does, I'll send for you right away so you can approve."

"Salvatore Markus, you know I don't interfere with your private life."

"No, you don't, Mom, thank you."

The next morning I helped with the chores, making me a little melancholy as I wasn't going to be able to have this peaceful release that working with the animals gave me. Dad helped put the topper shell on the truck to keep my stuff from getting wet. Promising to be back that evening, I drove to the school first to make sure my leaving was going to be acceptable.

When I called the University president's office to see if I was going to have to wait until Monday, the lady herself answered. The president of the University was her most pleasant self, as she raved at the opportunity I had at being able to work with a company as prominent as S&S. They weren't that prominent, I thought, because I've never heard of them. I asked if my department was going to be OK, and she said the promised replacement professor was already working with the rest of the department to cover my schedule. Her comment was, "It seems you were probably teaching about twice the classes you should have been. I'm surprised you have been able to keep up with your duties as Dean."

She called the Bursar's office to have my check brought to her office. Upon arriving, the president wanted me to sign a release on all of my software and patents. I already knew I could share in any money received for my ideas, so I declined and asked that she forward any residuals to my folks' address. Too bad, but I should get something out of having been ridiculed for knowing what I was supposed to know for ten years.

I went through my office, collecting my wall hangings and personal items. I scooped up my box of CDs that contained years and years of programming and hauled it all out to my truck. I had made sure a near duplicate box of all of my software tools was prominently displayed next to my monitors.

Next stop, my apartment was going to take less time than my office. After getting things out, I ran to a U-haul store to get boxes. I tried to be neat and put clothes in separate boxes, then bed clothes, followed by kitchen stuff. The last was western apparel for rodeos and my treasured six-guns. I had one single action and one double action. I packed my buck a piece blanks, hoping they would be easy to duplicate in Florida.

I had a TV, but it was a ten dollar 13 inch that I pitched. I had a decent boom box that played CDs and that was going with me. I stood and looked around at what remained of the furnished apartment to make sure that I had not left anything behind and that I had not taken anything that wasn't mine.

The apartment manager was nice. He went through the apartment with a clipboard checking what furnishings were provided and for cleanliness. I had a lady come in once a week, so the place was very clean.

"You're good to go, Feeny. Come to the office and we'll get you a check for your deposit. I was just about to hit you up for a lease renewal. Sorry to see you go."

I was happy as I drove back to the ranch, but still a little nervous about cutting so many ties. But I knew that if Florida blew up, I could get on at any major university and probably many major companies.

Sunday was the usual fun day around the ranch. My sister-in-law came with her kids to ride horses and talk to all of us about my brother in Afghanistan. The lady is a sweetheart and a loving mother to my niece and nephew.

I ate my last meal at home Sunday night. As I thought of that, it was almost ominous, like I was being executed in the morning. I suppose I was a bit of a home boy. I loved my family and enjoyed being with them. From what I had seen of the new people, they were close, and I hoped I would be welcomed into their midst.

The sun rose with me helping Dad feed the stock. As we walked into the house, Dad put his arm over my shoulder, "Sal, you've always been a good son. I've been very proud of you and your successes. I sometimes almost wish you weren't so darned smart. Your mom and I are going to miss you, but we both want you to know that we are pulling for you to be successful with this new company. Call us, let us come see you. We have plenty of help to take care of the place while we're gone, so call us."

Mom gave me about the same speech the night before, but added in that she hoped I will have found female companionship when I called her next. My reply was, "Not going to happen, Mom, unless you're willing to wait six months. You know that I 'm slow with women."

Mom hugged me, "You're just like your dad. I had to damn near drag him into a hay pile to get his interest. Of course, as soon as I accomplished what I wanted, I gave him three kids in three years before we found out what caused that. We both wanted a big family, but my tubes gave up after three. You'll see; some sweet thing is going to take one look at you and you will be toast."

Mom's slight Italian accent always puts a smile on my face. To me, she was the mom a man should have.

"Mom, you are really on a roll tonight. Cool it for a bit. Send me off in the morning with a smile, not terminally afraid of women."

After chores and breakfast the next morning, Mom hugged me and gave me kiss on the cheek. Dad shook my hand before hugging me as only a dad can hug his son.

I went out to my pickup, loaded with all of the physical things I felt important to me, and drove off.

Primary Editing by Pepere
Proofing and Continuity by Sagacious
Helicopter and Legal Eagle Guru, Rotorhead
Knight6 is trying out
Last one through - Deenara2000



-------

Chapter 4


You don't need many directions to get to Florida. I could do this in a long two days of about six to seven hundred miles a day, or do it in three or four leisurely days. I went across to highway 331 and headed southeast to Interstate 20. There was some traffic diversion going through Abilene, and a little farther through Fort Worth and south of Dallas. That place is big and busy, who would want to live there? My goal for the day was to see if I could make it out of Texas.

Around Dallas, I used my cell phone to call Dennis at S&S to let him know I was on my way. He was glad to hear I was coming and stopped short, "We didn't send you any money or a credit card. Damn, we are a bunch of goofs. Don't take it as a slight, Doc, but we try to take care of everything in advance for someone coming to us. Tell you what though, when you decide to stop for the night, call me and I'll have our travel people get you a first class place. Don't try to kill yourself getting here. We agreed you wouldn't start this coming Monday, so take your time and if you decide to stop and do some sightseeing, do it. You know, you're going near New Orleans. You could go down there."

"Thanks, Dennis, I'll visit New Orleans another time. I want to get to you guys and get started. I might have to check on the spring break babes around Panama City, but that's just a look see for me."

Dennis laughed before he cautioned, "Be careful of the jailbait out on the beaches, Doc. Lots of sixteen and seventeen year olds mix in with the older crowd and wreak havoc with your head. They'll tease you into distraction, and then give it up to another teen."

"So you're telling me Florida girls do the same things Texas girls do."

With a laugh, Dennis said, "They must all sign up for tease instruction about thirteen, so that they're pros by the time they're sixteen."

"I'm not a chick magnet, Dennis. I lurk. I love to check them out, but if I begin to talk to them, my pocket protector puts them off."

"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha," Dennis couldn't quit laughing. "I know the feeling. I went to a local high school and was really cool driving my El Camino, but as far as getting close to some babe or scoring, SOL man. I didn't have any luck until I met my babe and she saw through or over the top of my appearance and tech interest. I'm lucky, hope you get lucky too, and that's not a pun."

Dennis continued, "But listen to me, I'll tell the travel lady to be ready for your call. We'll set you up in something plush. You're an important part of where we're going. Call, okay?"

Now I was chuckling, "I'll call. I want to make it out of Texas today or tonight, so I'll probably be ready to quit about five and I should be right around Shreveport. Have your lady find me a place there and get the directions. You know I'm a country boy and don't do cities very well."

"Got it, Doc, I'll have Jenny find you a first class place in Shreveport close to Interstate 20. I'll make sure they have a list of fun things for you to do there if you want. Have a great dinner and breakfast, it's on us. I'll give Jenny your cell number if that's all right."

"Sure, fine, Dennis. I'm just about past the heavy Dallas traffic, so I can get back up to Texas speed."

"And what is Texas speed, Doc?"

"Depends on the year of your pickup. If it's less than ten years old, you're safe under a hundred. They frown on faster than that."

"You better not drive like that down here. They'll only give seven miles an hour most of the time, and if there's no traffic on the interstate, they'll give you ten if they are in a good mood. Anything more than that and you'll have a ticket that will choke you up. Keep it down, Dude."

I had to laugh again, "I will, Dennis. I'm just used to burning tires up on the open highway. I hear you have to toe the line in Louisiana and Mississippi too, so I'll be doing only seventy as I make those states.

"Okay, Doc, drive carefully, and call if you want to chat while you're driving. I'll let you gab with Donny or Gerry for a while. You guys could talk equations or something together. You might even talk to Sandy; he has a whole slew of good stories. Drive carefully."

"Bye, Dennis."

Now that was encouraging. Dennis was okay and seemed to be just another guy. I knew Sandy was one of those guys who was like me and never seemed to hook up with women. I wondered how he met his wife. They seem really happy and they both work for one of the companies. I think his wife is one of the Quality Wear legal people.

It was about four forty-five my time, and I was about ten miles out of Shreveport when my new iPhone rang. I answered, "Feeny."

"Hi, Doctor Feeny, this is Jenny Huddy. I'm the travel lady for S&S, CS&S, and Quality Wear. How close are you to Shreveport?"

"I'm about ten miles out according to the signs."

"Tell me, do you want to stay at a great place that has a casino like Harrah's, or the Horseshoe where they have had the World Series of Poker, or just a regular place and have to hunt for supper?"

"Wow, either one of those casino places should have good food. Fix me up with one that's easy to get to."

Jenny described the hotels, "I'm told that the Horseshoe has a real good steak. I'm sure Harrah's serves a good meal too. The Horseshoe is easier to get to from I-20."

"Make it the Horseshoe for me, Ma'am. Get me directions and I'll be on the east side of the city in less than twenty minutes."

"Okay, Doctor Feeny, you're set. I'll have a concierge call you and talk you right to their valet. Eat well and sleep good. Be careful if you gamble. We can't help you with that. You'll have to go to a casino with the bosses. I understand they are really lucky."

"Thanks, Jenny, this is great service."

"Well, remember to check with me tomorrow so I can get you into a good place wherever you are. Just call the number on your phone and I'll answer, twenty-four seven."

"Wow, you are a busy person."

Jenny giggled, "Not really, I actually normally give the phone to someone else by now, but you are important. Good night, Dr. Feeny, I'm on my way to the patio."

She hung up and all I could think of was that the patio sure had a big appeal. I thought of how great it was going to be to work with friendly people who weren't always conniving to do something to you or say something that isn't true about you. Those university assholes never took the opportunity to ever find out anything about me. I do remember Sandy asking about my pictures a couple of times. He was always interested in others.

My phone rang, "Feeny."

"This is Jack from the Horseshoe. I'm calling to direct you to our front door, Dr. Feeny. Where are you right now?"

When I told Jack where I was, he told me to stay on the phone, what exit to take, and to inform him when I was on the correct street. He did guide me right to their door. I thanked Jack as a valet came to the pickup door and stood.

There weren't any smirks or funny looks because I was driving a pickup with a cap and a lot of stuff in the back. Another man came to the truck and asked, "May I carry your luggage for you, Sir?"

I laughed at the situation, "Hang on, Guys. I just drove from west Texas. Let me get my bag from the back and give this man my keys. If you could, put this where it's safe. I don't have a lot, but I'm moving everything I have to Tampa. Take care of it."

The bellhop took my bag and the valet got into the truck. He gently drove away as the bellhop took me inside. A man met me just inside the door with his hand stuck out, "Dr. Feeny, right?"

I had a chance to nod before he led me toward the front desk. "I'm Jack, the guy who directed you on how to get here. Let me help you through the bureaucracy and get you to your room. I'll give you a quick tour, a rundown of everything you can do, where to eat, and you'll be on your own."

Check-in only required me to show them my driver's license and sign a card. The foxy lady handed me a key card and asked, "Do you have another traveling with you that might require a key?"

"Nope, all alone, thanks for asking."

"My pleasure, Sir. Enjoy your stay."

Jack said, "Come on, the bellhop will take your bag to your room. I'll show you around down here first."

We walked through a busy casino and past a couple of places that appeared to be entrances to shows or other entertainment. The only thing of interest was a sign that said "WSP Texas Hold'em tournament, $100, $500, $1000 buy in, sign up, 7:00 PM."

I asked Jack, "What's the deal with three buy in amounts?"

"That is weird, isn't it? Everyone gets the same amount of chips. If you win on a C note buy in, the pay out is ten grand. If you win with a five hundred buy-in, the prize is fifty grand, and if you put up a grand, the winner will get a minimum of a hundred grand. The winner of everything can win up to around a million. Do you play?"

"Wow! I love to play, but you must have a lot of players to pay out a million."

Jack told me, "The room will be packed. This is a weekly thing that brings in a lot of big names. You'll be surprised at how many thousand dollar buy-ins there will be. They post it on the board. Are you going to play?"

"I might. I'm hungry and I ought to shower. Seven is only an hour and half away."

"Hey, Doc, sign up now and go shower and eat. The tourney doesn't start until eight thirty. The signup is at seven, but they let people sign up anytime. It's right in here, let's do it even if you only sign for a hundred."

I was concerned that this was going to take all night so I asked, "How long does the tournament usually last?"

Jack was nodding, "Sometimes to the wee hours of the morning, but that's only because some of the guys put on a show by trying to outfox each other. I've seen them out of here by one. If the tables play fast, you'll be able to just about guess the time."

A lady in a skimpy costume smiled and pushed a signup sheet to me. I put my name and room number down and she scanned my key card. She was startled, "You are a winner or at least whoever's paying for your room is making you a winner. You're signed up for a thousand dollars, Sir. Hope you do well."

Now I was feeling a little funny. S&S is willing to drop a grand for me to play poker? They are gambling on me, but are also willing to drop another grand for me to play. Wow, this is special."

"Jack, show me the restaurant first. I'll find my room and shower afterward."

The restaurant he showed me into wasn't very busy and a busboy almost ran to put water into my glass. I had chosen a booth seat at a window so I could look out at a huge swimming pool with lots of yummy looking females lying on chairs. The sun was almost down, but they were still showing it off.

A waiter interrupted my thoughts. "What can I get you to drink, Sir?"

I was about to ask for a drink or beer, but remembered the game. "Iced Tea, lemon, no sugar. If you'll get me a menu, I'll order now."

"I can get you a menu, Sir, but we make anything you want. What do you have a taste for?"

Uh oh, this is going to be expensive. "Ah, actually I was thinking a medium sized rib-eye with a small lobster tail, and a few shrimp scampi with a buttered mixed vegetable. How about a small Caesar salad along with a good British Martini. A small size Martini, please."

The waiter grinned and told me, "I'll be right back with your drinks and salad. Do you have a need for speed tonight? Are you going to play in the tournament?"

Very astute of the man, "Yes, I am and speed would be good. I need to clean up before I go in there."

"I understand and will make sure you only have the one martini. Good luck."

The drinks were almost instantaneous, with a salad slid onto a plate almost as fast. I savored the salad with the martini, thinking this gin was something special. Almost as soon as I put my fork down, a busboy whisked the plate and fork away. The waiter was carrying a tray with something smoking on it. He put a fairly thick rib-eye steak on a metal hot plate in the center, a small plate with a shelled lobster tail on one side, and a plateful of shrimp scampi on rice on the other. Directly over my plate, he set down a bowl of mixed vegetables. The man was smiling and offered me a card, "Excuse me, Dr. Feeny, if you can't finish your meal now, you can call this number and we'll warm it up or bring you fresh up to your room later. We always want to please."

I was stunned. How did he know my name? He was perceptive because he figured out that I was going to play in the tournament, but how could he figure out my name?

He was gone before I could ask him. My nose brought my attention to the rib-eye. I had not specified how I wanted the steak cooked, but it was a true medium bloody rare that was so tender that I didn't need a steak knife. The shrimp was delicious, and a mouth full of lobster had me drooling. I didn't eat fast as I wanted to savor the meal.

At one point while I ate, the waiter refilled my iced tea and had already removed the martini glass that I had not finished. He didn't interrupt my focus on the food by asking how it was, he knew it was good. I actually finished every bite and sat back with a full tummy. They gave me too many shrimp, but this was Louisiana. Knowing the meal was taken care of, I pulled my money clip to leave a tip.

The waiter magically appeared, "Oh no, Sir. Your gratuities have been taken care of. Go win some money."

I checked my watch to see it was still just a little after seven, so I took the elevator up to my floor and found my room. The door popped open as I slid the card into the slot.

"Holy shit, this was special. There was a large sitting area and a bed that looked like a dozen people could sleep in it. A quick look around showed some kind of porch or patio outside some doors. I looked out there and was surprised, there was a hot tub outside my room; oh, my.

I didn't have time to gawk, so I looked for my suitcase and found it on the floor of the closet with my clothes neatly hung. Okay, that's a nice touch. I was stripped in seconds and through the shower. I kept my hair short so I didn't have to mess with it, which was another source of derision by my peers at the university. I thought it was smart to have short hair so I could wear a hat and it not mess with my hair or look like I just got up if I lay down for a nap.

After a quick shave, I dressed and rode the elevator to the first floor. I found what I wanted in the gift shop. I pulled an extra strength five hour energy bottle and a pack of chewing gum. Gum was my weakness, but it was better than chewing tobacco, the common product for my age group in Texas.

I walked through the door to the tournament room and a lady on a high stool with a computer monitor said, "Welcome, Doctor Feeny, you will be at table twenty-seven. Do you want a lucky number table?"

On a whim, I said, "How about thirty-three?"

The girl did some keystrokes and said, "Would you accept table three?"

I was enthusiastic when I answered, "That would be even better."

"You're all set, Doctor Feeny, good luck."

I stepped past her and watched how she knew who I was. When someone would stand in front of her, she would push a key and the machine would compare a series of faces until it came up with the correct face and the information about the customer or tournament entry. That was a slick use of a facial recognition program. The signup lady took the picture and it was stored for the entrance clerk who assigned tables.

I walked around the room toward where I assumed table three would be. I thought the low number tables were for high profile players, but I didn't care. If I could play with these big guys, I could play my way through for a while.

I looked at the sheet of paper the lady had given me. Everyone from twenty-fifth to first place won money. For me to make the thousand back, I would have to come in twenty-second. This was high stakes stuff.

I found table three and I looked at the seat markers. A lady in another skimpy costume was setting my name tag in front of a seat.

While I was standing there, a waitress asked if she could get me something. I asked for a no sugar iced tea with lemon. She asked, "Tall or short?"

"Tall, Ma'am."

The very short waitress grinned and said, "You sure are."

That was a flirt, as I'm not tall at all. That was a nice gesture and a hell of lot nicer than the usual "nerd" stuff I heard.

I was sipping my iced tea near the table when a couple of fairly well known poker players showed up. This was going to be fun. How many times do you get to play with guys you only see on TV? Pretty soon, the public address system announced, "Tables, Ladies and Gentlemen."

I sat at my place and checked my name tag. Oh shit, it said, "Dr. Salvatore Feeny". I didn't need that. As I sat, all of the players were recognizing each other and shaking each other's hand. One of the guys said, "That's a mouthful, Dr. Feeny, how about 'Sal'?"

I was nodding and smiling when another of the famous card players asked, "What kind of doc are you, a shrink, a surgeon?"

With a smile I told them, "I'm a PhD. A doctor only as a matter of students addressing me. I fool with electronics and computers."

That was the right thing to say as they all continued their conversations with each other. In front of each player was a tray of chips. The players were taking them out and stacking them by color.

The public address announcer broadcast, "For the purpose of the tournament, the black chips will be a thousand, the red five thousand, the blue ten thousand, and the purple twenty-five thousand. Each player has been issued two hundred fifty thousand in chips. Good luck, Gentlemen.

The dealer said, "A thousand for the blind, ladies and gentlemen." There were two well-known lady players at the table.

The first hour was fast and three at our table went out. I wasn't playing conservatively, but I was watching and trying to play smart. I did have a rep at home for being one of the better players at the Saturday and Sunday afternoon tournaments. It was surprising how many good players were making bad bets. I figured the game could be won early if you played the way you were supposed to.

After two hours, the only original players at our table were one of the ladies and me. Both of us had a nice stack of chips. The break was long enough to hit the john and order another iced tea. I couldn't get over the number of well known players sucking up booze. This was for money, why would you take away your edge?

When the play started again with a new dealer, he was dealing so slow that I asked him, "Do you get paid for dealing slow or is it just the way you deal?"

There were several people that spoke up and agreed with me. The guy said, "If you question me you can leave. I control this game and will deal the way I want to. Who are you to talk to me that way?"

That brought a lot of "ooh's" around the table. I began watching the guy's hands and looked up at the lady playing at the table. She caught my eye and winked at me. The guy was doing some fancy dealing. I had to quit betting because of the cards I was getting. The only thing I did was put in the blind.

When the guy began shuffling by spreading the cards on the table, the lady nodded her head toward the cards. The man looked as if he were arranging the cards. That was tough to do with everyone watching, but he was doing it.

The lady spoke up, "I'd like a fresh deck, please."

"Go away, Lady. I just shuffled these. Play this hand and I'll get another deck."

She stood up and beckoned an official. She told the man in a voice that all could hear, "Your dealer is arranging cards and giving player five the cards he needs to win the last seven hands. Player number three questioned his slow play and I asked for a fresh deck. I want, no, I demand, a new dealer."

The tournament official flipped over the cards for player five, then counted the cards through the deck to find that player five was going to get four sixes. No way could he have that kind of streak. The tournament official asked the player and dealer, "Come with me."

Another official came to our table and instructed us, "Will you please remain seated for a few minutes? We will get a determination as to what to do."

The lady came around to me and told me, "You've been playing some good poker. You might go all the way, but I'm going to try to beat you. How about we get together after the game. I'd like you to buy me a drink."

I didn't break down in laughter, but I did spring a boner. The lady was showing enough cleavage to distract a priest.

The original official came back and asked, "It is your choice and a table vote will be final. The house is willing to pay you the maximum winnings for your entry fee if you want to stop right now. If you want to stay, you will win whatever you win. It's obvious what the better deal is. How many want to take their money and run?"

Everyone put their hands up.

The official said. "Please take your chips to the front and they will issue you credit for your winnings. I'm sorry that we have had a security breakdown. Please come back for another try at the big prize."

The lady came to me and said, "We got the big prize. How much did you give for your entry?"

When I looked at her as if she was being pushy, she said, "I'm in for a grand. You know what that means. Want me to buy you a drink?"

I was almost laughing. Who would believe that "Feeny" had a world famous female poker player on his arm about ready to collect a hundred thousand dollars. I suppose a casino couldn't take the chance of scandal like that. I loved it. It wasn't even midnight yet, and it looked like it was going to be a slow night but we were through with money in our pockets.

When we finished receiving receipts for our winnings, the lady turned me around and said, "I'm hungry. Feed me, then take me to my place or your place, and fuck me. Are you good for it?"

Holy shit. This doesn't happen to Feeny.

"Come, let me show you the best place in the house to eat."

We entered the secluded restaurant and were ushered to the same booth I had been in earlier. I told the lady, "Order whatever you want. They will fix it for you. I'm going to have another small piece of beef, some clams, and some more lobster."

She looked up at me as a busboy poured us water, with the same waiter I had before standing behind him. The waiter asked, "Is this a break, or did luck not look your way except for the lovely lady."

I didn't have to answer, she informed the waiter, "Hell no, we got back the max for our entry fee because the dealer and a player were cheating. We're flush, garçon, or whatever those movie people say."

"Then may I suggest some champagne to celebrate?"

The blonde smiled and told the man, "Bring us both some good scotch, single malt, with a beer on the side. We're going to do some eating before ... ah ... doing something else."

I laughed and I think the waiter caught on as the corners of his mouth curled up.

He left for our drinks and the lady said, "Man, I'm feeling so lucky that we should go play with the big boys who lost earlier, but I'm too horny for that. I want to intimately visit with you, Doctor. Want to examine me?"

This babe was funny. Direct, but funny.

The waiter brought some scotch in glasses with glasses of ice on the side for us to decide how we were going to drink the single malt. He also brought us each a Guiness for the beer requested. The blonde actually said thank you.

We sipped our drinks for a minute before the girl asked, "Aren't they going to bring menus?"

"I told you about that. You ask for what you want and they'll bring it to you. I'm going to have the small good side of a porterhouse and some more lobster. The waiter will ask me how large, and I'll tell him about four to six ounces of steak. The rest will be assumed. Do you want some vegetables? I recommend their Caesar salad with a Boodles martini."

She looked at me and asked, "Really, anything I want?"

"Really, I'm buying, so enjoy yourself."

She screwed her mouth up and asked, "Do you think they would make something strange?"

"Let me have the waiter tell you. It is anything you want."

The waiter was instantly at the table from a simple low hand wave. I informed him, "The lady is apprehensive about ordering what she really wants. Please assure her."

"Please, order your heart's desire. If we don't have it, we'll order it and have you back to the hotel at our expense. Now, what would you like?"

The lady had a contented smirk on her face, "Don't laugh, please. I've always wanted a filet, cut thin, and chicken fried. I want chicken fried filet. Can I have that?"

Without blinking, the waiter asked, "What would you enjoy with that?"

"Can I get mashed potatoes, some milk gravy, and some green beans?"

The waiter smiled, "Your wish is my command."

"Oh, how about one of the salads with the Boodles the doctor likes?"

The waiter was doing a good job keeping a straight face and turned to me.

"I'll have the salad combination to start, then the tender side of a porterhouse, about four to six ounces, along with another of those delicious small lobster tails. That would be wonderful."

"Right away, Ma'am and Dr. Feeny."

The famous blonde said, "You are one important motherfucker, aren't you? Christ, this place is something. I've been coming to this hotel for four years and I didn't know this was here."

My memory was playing tricks with me, so I had to ask. "Ah, I'm not trying to be a smart aleck, a puritan, or whatever, but aren't you married?"

"Nope, I haven't been married now for two whole months. The asshole took off with the bank account and some skank about six months ago, and I've done without since. You're the first guy that has wound my clock. We're going to do something about that. Can you imagine? A chicken fried filet!"

Small salads and martinis were served, so we ate and enjoyed the liquor. Once again, at the first sign we were done, the martini glasses and the bowls were gone, and our entrees were almost immediately served. The blonde sat and stared at what she had requested.

When I had my request in front of me, the waiter set a glass down, "Your iced tea, Sir, with no sugar and lemon. And you, Madam?"

"Just like him, please."'

The waiter set a glass on the table with lemon stuck to the side. He carried another glass away that must have had sugar in it.

This girl was not heavy, but she was an eager eater. I finished my second steak of the evening, along with my second small lobster tail. The man knew that I wanted the taste, and not a huge tail.

When Blondie's plate was empty, she sat back with a smile on her face. "That was wonderful. Do you think these folks make coffee?"

We didn't have a chance to hardly put our napkins down when an attendant was taking plates and the waiter was placing steaming cups in front of us. He said, "If you will permit me, I have a small, enjoyable, surprise treat for you."

The man brought back some kind of chocolate concoction that looked to have a small piece of cake, some ice cream, nuts, and lumpy chocolate syrup. It looked very good. He handed each of us a spoon and looked at me, "This is for being so lucky this evening, and may this bring you more luck." He winked at me.

The lady was instantly into the dessert and her coffee. We ate and chatted about nothing, really. She told me, "Since the jerk left, I've had a change of luck that is phenomenal. Tonight, you changed the table and brought everyone luck. You're a special guy and I'd love to play some more tournaments with you. You know that your win tonight will make you eligible for the big one. You have to pay an entrance, but you're automatically invited. You've brought me luck, Guy. Between dumping one guy and finding you, I'm on top of the world."

When we left, I tucked a C-note under my plate, hoping it would be shared. I was leading toward the elevator thinking that she would want to go up to a room. She shocked me, "We have to try our combined luck at the open tables. Let's buy about fifty grand in chips, and see how it's going. I'm feeling very lucky."

Well, shoot, I thought I was going to get laid, and now I have to think about poker. Hmm, I still had that Five Hour energy drink in my p